INTERVIEW WITH THE LUKENS'
**Mr. & Mrs. W.C. Lukens, who live at the south end of 38th St.Rock Island--on the hilltop front- ing on Rock River Road. April 4,1917.
"Black Hawk made the Watch Tower a resort before anyone else did.He and father(William Carr) and John W.Spencer ate watermelon there one time. I suppose father furnished the melons.I do not know of any traditions regarding Black Hawk's wife,nor do I know of the indian trails or route of march of the Black Hawk war soldiers up Rock River.
"My father,Willliam Carr and his brothers Ben and Peter came here in 1825,fron Cass County,Ills.,walking all the way.They stai[d] here only a short time.I do not know how long they staid,whether it was weeks or months but there is some tradition they had a store where Rock Island is now.
"My Uncle Peter selected a location between IllinoisCity and J John Edgington's--just a mile west of Edgington.Uncle Ben selected a place in Sec. 10,on Ninth St.,Rock Island, and my father,will iam Carr selected this farm,but they had no money with which to buy anything so they went to the lead mines in southern Wisconsin to earn money with which to buy land, and in I833,eight years later returned and took up the lands which in 1825 they had selected in this County and(per Mr.Lukens)"You are now on the first 80 acres to be entered in Rock Island County.I personally got the patent to the land years afterward and it is recorded so you will be able to see the exact date of it.
"The three brothers were unmarried at the time they came here. They came from Marietta,O., at first,and went to Illinois,near Chandlerville,Cass.County.They have a Karr graveyard there now. My father was born in 1800.He and Uncle Peter changed the spellin of their name from Karr to Carr. Carr is irish and Karr is german I don't know which we are but I'd be ashamed to be a german now.I think the Kaiser is crazy.I think he's defective mentally as as physically".
"Lands here were not subject to entry when they were here in 1825.Uncle Ben died in 1855.
"Father built first where the big tree is.He didn't own it at that tine----down by the river.He wasthe ferryman ---'Carr's Ferry I've seen the old sign and I split it up for kindling wood.They built their house there on account of the fine spring in the bayouLater,he dug a well and had to go down into the rock some feet.
"You can see the old Carr's Ferry road inside the fenced land of the present Bachman tract.The road went to Rock Island via the Schroeder & Boyer farms and on to 18th Ave., and 24th St.It passed the farm of Maj.Drum,an officer of the Regular Army--Miss Martha Baker's(Trained nurse) grandfather.One of Drum's daughters married a photographer,and another married a hardware man by the name of Baker.
"My father used to ford Rock River right across Carr's island. They entered just above a deep gulch or deep rift in the rock in the river-bed,four to twenty feet wide and it is not known how deep.They entered one-fourth to one-half mile west of the road an numerous people have been drowned there in that rift. NOTE:*See Page 335-6 in "Autobiography of Peter Cartwright,for hi[s] experience in crossing at the "Upper ford"--the same spot Mrs.Lukens speaks of).
"I do not know where the trail was where the soldiers marched in the Black Hawk war of 1832,except they marched up into Wisconsin.
Mr.Lukens continues:"My stepfather Ephraim DeMotte Turner was a sheriff in southern Wisconsin.He was in the battle of the Bad Axe but I don(t know in what capacity.So far as I read and heard from the indians they never had any trouble with the indiand here in the early days.The indiand didn't have much of the german in them.They always said:'The dutch beat the devil".I guess now,it's so.
"You should see Herbert Scott.He rooms with J.B.Eckhart's in Rock Island(NOTE--I did see him and have a brief story)Mrs,is Blanche Searle Eckhart.He(Scott) went to school with George Carr to Mr.Snow.He always goes to the Old Settlers meetings.
"George Carr doesn't know how old he is.His mother died and they had no record,but William Brashar and Henry Case were of his age.
"Mrs.John Cornwall,nee Becky Howard,of Moline,was at my weddin[g] 53 years ago.We were married in March 1864.Nellie Hemenway Christy,daughter of Luke Hemenway,was our bridesmaid and George Walker now deceased,was groonsman.Mrs.Rufus Walker of Moline was adaughte[r] of John Edgington,and could also give you reminiscences.
"I (Mrs.Lukens) was born in 1841 out on the farm.Ed Spencer wh just died,was a year younger than my brother.We used to go to Spencer's after church.He was a son of J.W.Spencer- -his second wife's son.She was a daughter of the Case'e.I don't know who his first wife was.
"J.W.Spencer lived where the Hakes' house was(On 7th Ave.,R.I. south side of Ave,at corner of 19th St).Their second house,an old fashioned brick with wide halls,was torn down to make room for th present W.A.Rosenfield(Between 6th and 7th Aves,19.St)house is.I used to think it was too good to tear down.
Mr.Lukens said:"Wm.Carr told me Black Hawk was a good indian, If they'd treated him right.He had slept with Black Hawk at the foot of the government island.Not against his body but in the sam wigwam or tent.A good many writers make out that the indians are all bloodthirsty.WilliamCarr said it was like sitting on a log;th white man saying 'sit over' and pushing the indian along till he was shoved off.He said the whites didn't treat the indians right.
Carr's island,40 or 50 years ago was full of indian corn hills.
Mr.Lukens continued:"In the early day when Rock River was up,i they couldn't cross here they went to Dixon.There was no ferry between Carr's ferry and Dixon.This was in high water.I never heard of there being any fords between here and Dixon,but I suppose they had them.Rock River is treacherous and has rifts in the rocks.The rapids began just east of Thirty-eighth St.Rock Island.
"William Carr knew Black Hawk well and he told me he was a goo indian if they let him alon[e].At the same time I suppose if an indian of Black Hawk's tribe committed a hostile act against a whit I suppose Black Hawk protected him same as if any other nationality would.
"The most scared I ever was,I was coming along the river by a crab apple grove.I was 10 years old at the time and came within ten feet of a big buck indian and he gave a grunt.I never was so scared in my life.I was on my way to Dr.Hewett's on account of a little girl being sick.Mr.Dean thought it was 'Capt.Jim' of the Glenn settlement.This indian taught me how to swim.He'd throw me in the river and pull me out again.He would give out a gutteral UGH.
Mrs.Lukens continued:"One day father came home and brought Mr. Campbell and five children with him.One of the children was our present Hon.Thomas Campbell(State Legislator,Rock Island).Mrs. Boyer came down to see us and she took Tom home with her.I remember it very well.She washorseback and had Tommy ride behind her on the same horse and they kept him and adopted him and left him all their property when they died.Tom's mother had died at St. Louis in childbirth--twins--.They were immigrants from Ireland, coming via New Orleans. Brashar's wife died and he married agai but seperated [sic] from her.He is around Orion?llls., now,I believe. Lukens--both--refused to let me take their pictures,but I got [them later at Old Settlers meeting. -Finis-] Tuesday,Sept.6,1921,at the Old Settlers Picnic, Black Hawk Watch Tower.Speaking with Mr.and Mrs.W.C.Lukens,who live on Rock River road,at 38th St.R.I.
"Yes,I did hear the Lincoln-Douglass debate at Galesburg in 1858,and I presented Mr.Lincoln with a banner in behalf of Lombard College where I was a student at the time.
The College was Republican,and they selected Two of us -- girls,to present a banner to Mr.Lincoln.The two were Miss Mary Pike, whose home was in Galesburg,and myself--Eliza Jane Carr.I don't know why they selected us;maybe because we were good looking
I stood up in the large crowd all through the speaking.It did not seem to be so long.I stood not far from the speakers' platform
I handed the banner to Mr.Lincoln.He asked what we wanted xx him to do with it.I guess I told him to take it to Washington with him.
I rode to the speaking with the president of Lombard College, Mr.Otis Skinner.He had a spanking team of bays to his buggy.
Another student at Lombard at that time,and in the same classes with myself was Edwin H.Conger,afterwards Minister to China.
(I got a picture of Mrs.Lukens at last year's Old Setlers' meeting).
Mr.W.C.Lukens explained how Stephen A.Douglass came to speak a Rock Island when he did.He said:"I drove thirty miles,from Mt.Carmel to Olney,to get Douglass to speak at at Mt.Carmel,but there had been a railroad accident,and Douglass hadn't come.They told me he had instead,gone to Rock Island and would make a speech there.
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